On Friday 5 June 2020 at 17:00 GMT, our graduating students opened “Asbestos Streams, Reading School of Art Degree Show // Class of 2020,” with an exciting live event filled with art, entertainment and conversation.
We’re incredibly proud of how the BA and MA student cohorts worked together to take a stand on the Black Lives Matter Movement and the events occurring around the world in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. During the degree show opening event, the eight hosting students shared resources, information and observations about how they feel we can support the Black Lives Matter Movement. In discussing these imperative issues and sharing information and resources, the students make clear the need for us to listen, self-educate and take action where we can. You can see what the students had to say and find links to the resources they shared below.
“As hard as these times are, as a collective we need to be aware and active to fight current world situations, including Covid 19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. We need to make sure as individuals we take actions and make changes for the better. Even through education and conversation we can make an impact. Throughout tonight’s screening we will be sharing some resources and funding calls to donate to, across our social media platforms. To start, the resources I would like to share with you are a fiction and non-fiction book. First is this book – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge. One of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read, this is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand the nuances of race relations in Britain today. Secondly, is the critically acclaimed fictional novel, Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams. A modern, beautiful and compelling coming-of-age story about a Jamaican-British woman living in London.” – Khadija Niang, BA Art and English Literature.
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge. To get a copy and find out more you can go to the author’s website
Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams. To get a copy and find out more you can go to the author’s website
“Before we hand back to Becca and Khadija, I’d like to share a fundraiser by Black Lives Matter UK. BLMUK is a coalition of black activists and organisers across the UK who have been organising since 2016 for justice in their communities. You can contribute on their GoFundMe page.” – Will Fowler, BA Art and English Literature.
“You can also support the movement by reporting misinformation. Black Lives Matter is a central target of misinformation and you can report suspicious sites, stories, accounts and posts directly on their website, blacklivesmatter.com.” – Charlotte Abraham, BA Art.
“I would like to bring your attention to another resource, which is actually Khadija’s work, I strongly encourage you to listen to her piece ‘Our Hair” which poignantly highlights five black women’s experiences with their hair, you can find it at khadijacecile.art.” – Becca Lynn, BA Art
“We want to share a Black Lives Matter Carrd page created by Nico, a 17-year old student also known as @dehyedration … Nico’s Carrd page website brings together petitions, funds, protests and self-education resources. You can access this resource by going to blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.” – Jess Tomlin, BA Art, and Clémence Muller, BA Art and Art History.
“I would like to bring your attention to the current situation occurring primarily in the USA and even in the UK surrounding the BLM movement. Wherever you are right now I urge you to do what you can to support Black Lives Matter. Whether you’re active on social media or in your home, the streets, your workplace, please take the time to take notice of what’s happening, to listen to the voices of the oppressed, to self-educate and do what you can to help change the world for the better.” – Christine Glover, BA Art and Art History.
“UK legislation states that if exports of riot equipment, including tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields are likely to be used for internal repression, then they should not be authorised. Please consider writing to your local MP in the UK to demand that the sale of these items to the US is stopped. To find your local MP and how to contact them, go to members.parliament.uk/members/Commons.” – Jasper Stinchcombe, MA Fine Art.
To find out how to contact your local MP, you can go to the UK Parliament website